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Extraordinary houseboat near Tower Bridge

The Harpy Houseboat: London's most historic houseboat with the postcard view of Tower Bridge.

The upper deck dining area- seats 8
  • The upper deck dining area- seats 8
  • Living room with the postcard view of Tower Bridge
  • Cabin 1
  • The Harpy from the river
  • The brow bridge private entrance
  • Security gated entrance with entryphone and coded key-pad access. Guests choose their own code for the duration of their stay.
  • 60 ft (18.5m), main upper deck space
  • The upper deck dining area- seats 8
  • Living room with the postcard view of Tower Bridge
  • Cabin 1
  • The Harpy from the river
  • The brow bridge private entrance
  • Security gated entrance with entryphone and coded key-pad access. Guests choose their own code for the duration of their stay.
  • 60 ft (18.5m), main upper deck space
  • A blue clock
  • Kitchen and kitchen dining for 6
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Kitchen table - seats 6
  • Dining table (made by Ambrose Heal in 1922 for Winston Churchill's house at Chartwell) - seats 8
  • There are three remote controlled wooden propeller fans in the upper deck
  • Living area from the stairs
  • Cabin 1
  • Cabin 1 four poster bed
  • Cabin 1 en-suite bathroom, with a separate shower
  • Cabin 1 en-suite bath
  • Cabin 2
  • Cabin 3
  • Cabin 4 set up as a twin bedded room
  • Cabin 4 set up as a double
  • Bathroom 2: decent sized basin and a bath/shower
  • Tower Bridge fireworks
  • Difficult to get bored of the view of the most famous bridge in the world!
  • Christmas lights from the entrance brow bridge
  • Christmas lights on the upper deck
  • Christmas lights through the French windows to the upper deck
  • Lunch on deck
  • An American family's birthday party on board: Summer 2018
  • Harpy from the river at night
  • The original brass Harpy maker's plate
  • A 1980's photo of Harpy and a nice boat for weekend trips
  • Tower Bridge from the front lower deck
  • Harpy featured in the Legoland model of London
  • Harpy lifebelts: There are 9 of them on board - we hope you won't need them!
  • Harpy embroidered jute shopping bags.
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Houseboat summary

Welcome aboard this beautifully restored 4-bedroom London houseboat on the South Bank of the Thames with exceptional views of Tower Bridge, the River Thames, The City of London & Canary Wharf. If you want to be right there in the heart of London this is the place!  Staying on board this luxurious 5* London houseboat is a truly memorable experience.

Houseboat description

The world's first floating Customs House, built in 1904 as 'HMS (His Majesty's Ship) Harpy', has been transformed into one of London's most unique homes, right in the heart of the city.

King George V made an official visit to The Harpy in 1920 - there's a photo of that on board. As the former VIP landing stage for The City of London, the long list of visiting dignitaries includes Winston Churchill, Earl Mountbatten (the last Viceroy of India), HRH Princess Margaret and Maggie Thatcher. The last royal visitor was HRH The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), in 1989.  Jane Seymour held her OBE party on board in 2000. 

Ex Prime Minister Sir John Major KG CH was guest of honour at Sir Oliver Letwin's fundraising party on board in 2008. Quoting Sir Oliver: 'Your boat is really beautiful, it was all so generously and elegantly done, one really felt as if it were a Venetian festival'.

Since being made available as a holiday let in 2017, a number of Hollywood stars have made The Harpy their London base; most recently (in 2018), Gerard Butler, whilst filming in London. A number of films have used The Harpy as a location, including Spielberg's Young Sherlock Holmes and A Fish called Wanda.

The Harpy also features as an iconic Thames vessel in Legoland's model of London.  

Acquired by the current owners in 1981, and now known as simply 'The Harpy', this fascinating piece of maritime history offers 5* luxury accommodation with the postcard view of Tower Bridge, the River Thames, the skyline of The City of London to the west and Canary Wharf to the east.

The Harpy is the perfect London base for a large family holiday or a group of colleagues on a working visit to The City of London.

At 114 years old, as well as being the oldest houseboat in London, with 233 sq. m. (2,506 sq. ft.) of decks, and 172 sq. m. (1,850 sq. ft.) internal accommodation, The Harpy is also the largest.  Four double cabins (one of which can be a twin bedded room), comfortably sleep 8 guests, and, in 3 sofa beds and a crib/cot, up to a further 4 guests - a maximum of 12. All cabins are above deck, each with large double glazed windows with river views. Cabin 1 has remote controlled electric lined curtains. Cabins 2, 3 & 4 have lined curtains. 

The main living space is 18.4m long (60ft) with 22 windows and exposed timber trusses to the 11ft 9in (3.6m) ceiling.

From the living-dining-kitchen, there are 2 doors and French windows onto the 117 sq. m. (1,260 sq. ft.) upper deck, with an eight-seater teak dining table, a serving table and two benches, all with the amazing views. There are 12 external upper deck bulkhead lights and stainless steel safety wires between the deck rails.

The kitchen includes a Samsung American fridge/freezer/ice maker, an alkaline water filtration system, Neff gas hob and double oven, extractor fan, Miele dishwasher, microwave, espresso 'bean to cup' coffee machine, rice steamer, juicer and all the basics; chefs knives, kettle, Dualit toaster, Kenwood blenders, cafetieres and Le Creuset pots and pans, graters, measuring jugs, mixing bowls, oven gloves, tea towels etc. There is plenty of (white) crockery/serving dishes and Tablecraft cutlery; generally 16 of everything.

With mains power, gas central heating, mains (filtered) water and super fast fibre-optic wi-fi, Ultra High Definition TVs, 3 Sky Q boxes & a Sonos sound system, with speakers in every room, The Harpy is not so much a boat as a super luxury floating house. 

Relax in one of the superb bathrooms and enjoy the wonderful views. The fully-equipped kitchen allows you to cook for yourself if you feel like eating in and enjoying one of the finest views in London, followed by a movie on the 55 inch LG curved screen QLED Super High Definition TV & Bose surround sound system with 8 speakers on the upper deck.

Retaining much of her original robust character and details The Harpy houses a rare collection of over 50 pieces of 1920's early modernist, Ambrose Heal designed, oak furniture, including a spectacular four poster bed owned by a Princess in 1922, a Heal's dining table designed for Winston Churchill's Chartwell House, a giant B&B Italia sofa, fine art and objects, very comfortable beds with organic cotton mattresses, fine Egyptian linen, feather & down pillows and duvets and masses of large fluffy towels.

The location is superb: 400m east of the Tower Bridge and a 10 minute walk to Bermondsey tube station on the Jubilee Line - 4 stops to Westminster (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey), and one more to Green Park (Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly - the heart of the West End.  

Described by The Sunday Times as 'The mooring with the most!'; staying at The Harpy is a memorable experience.

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Min-stay 3 - 7 nights depending on period

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Houseboat highlights

  • Exceptional views of Tower Bridge and The City

  • Spacious and comfortable

  • Perfect for families & larger groups

  • Superb location on the River Thames

  • Stunning interior and equipment

 
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